U.S. Navy Ends Search for 3 Sailors Missing After Plane Crash Off Japan

A C-2A Greyhound propeller cargo plane launching from the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan in the Philippine Sea. A plane of the same model crashed Wednesday on its way to the carrier.
Photo credit: U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy said the search ended Friday for three sailors who went missing after their military plane crashed into the Philippine Sea off Japan two days ago.

The C2-A Greyhound cargo plane with 11 people aboard crashed while conducting a routine transport flight from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the Navy said. Eight sailors were rescued and taken to the carrier. The Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet said they were in good condition.

Eight U.S. Navy and Japanese military ships along with helicopters and patrol aircraft covered nearly 1,000 square nautical miles in the two-day search for the missing sailors, without avail.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families,” said Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, the commander of Task Force 70, in a statement. “As difficult as this is, we are thankful for the rapid and effective response that led to the rescue of eight of our shipmates, and I appreciate the professionalism and dedication shown by all who participated in the search efforts.”

The 7th Fleet said the names of the three missing sailors were being withheld until their families have been informed. The Navy is investigating the crash.

The crash occurred about 500 miles southeast of Okinawa at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday Japan time, the Navy said.

President Trump tweeted after the crash: “The @USNavy is conducting search and rescue following aircraft crash. We are monitoring the situation. Prayers for all involved.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Jane Onyanga-Omara